At first she thought the crate was empty and felt a little disappointed, but then something moved. Way, way back in a dark corner was a terrified black puppy. The young woman selling the pup approached her and explained his fear. She said the litter was born on her neighbor’s farm. They were not wanted and they lived in a corral with the horses. She adopted one that she found drowning in a bucket one day and was able to save. She asked the owners if she could have the rest of them to find homes for them. They were happy to oblige. So, in order to save them, she took them all and found homes for all but two of them. This guy was the last one. She reached way back in the crate and brought out a 10-12 week old Black Lab/Aussie mix puppy. He was limp and nearly lifeless. His body was a mass of fleas. He would not look at the Duchess or the young lady. He just hung there in the woman's arms. If you tried to look him in the face he turned his head. The Duchess was overcome with compassion for this little lost soul. She could tell that he had been getting plenty to eat, but he was quite a mess – inside and out.
In the meantime, here comes the Duke. “No puppies” he said before he even looked. But he too was overcome when he saw the condition of the little pup. The young woman said she would not even charge them the $10 if they would provide the pup with a good home.
So they brought him home, put him straight in the laundry sink for a flea bath, named him Bear, and then introduced him to the family.
He promptly ran behind the fountain and no one could get him out. Not even the manly Duke. So there he stayed while the other dogs went about their business. Every now and then the Duchess would check on him and still he would not budge. Then it happened. The Duchess went back to check him again and found to her surprise and delight he was in the middle of the back yard playing tug-of-war with the big dog Sara!
Thus began a lifelong attachment to Sara. They were soul mates.
And he grew . . . And he grew . . .
At six months old he was almost as big as Sara.
It turned out that Bear had suffered irreversible injuries in the horse corral which he has lived with all these many years. He has only one good eye and damage to his spine that has brought him arthritis, but he has been a wonderful addition to the Royal family. And he never complains!
Now, in the Autumn of his life, he loves me as much as he loved Sara. He can’t run and play with me but sometimes he tries.